Civil engineering management and its effects in the construction

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1. Introduction

Civil engineering is the oldest type of engineering fields; actually, civil engineering is a broad field. It concerns with design and construction in many field such as Roads, Railways, Airports, Flood Defences, Water, Waste, Services, Local Authorities, Utilities, Environment, Factories, Business, Retail, Leisure and Community Facilities.

Civil Engineering integrates with other sciences including: physics, microbiology, economics, mathematics, material science, ecology, geology, microbiology and statistics.

Management is required for most of the projects in life not only in Civil Engineering or constructions. Management includes time table, schedule, design, analyze, requirements, budget and more.

In this assignment the civil engineering management and how it effects in the construction will be discussed briefly from many points of view.

2. Construction Project Management

2.1 Definition of Construction Project Management

It is defined as planning, controlling and coordinating a project from beginning (Conceptions) to completion (including commissioning) on benefits of client's requirements and objectives in terms of function, utility, time, cost and quality. In addition, establishing the relationships between integrating, controlling and monitoring contribution to the output of the project, (walker, 2007)

Construction Project Management is based on the principles and basics of project management and the applicable phases of project development. Phases of project development include:

* Plan to initiate a project.

* Environment safety.

* Acquisition.

* Proper design.

* Building and construction.

* Testing and commissioning.

* closing.

2.2 Project Definition

A project may be defined as a chain of activities that occurs depending on each other to accomplish a specific goal and they obey time, financing, legislations and technical fames.

2.2.1 Project Manager

Project manger plays a big role in planning and controlling the execution of the project. Project manger must have former experience. If there is no project manager in the agency, engineers, employee and staff will directly contact with the agency and this will make a mess in the agency and work will not be organized. Fig.1 shows the case when there is no project manager in the agency.

2.2.2 Project Characteristics

Scope, Budget and Schedule are the most important characteristics for any project.

Project passes in several phases from beginning to the end of the project.

1- Scope: Each project has specific requirements; these requirements will be taken into account through operational needs, service level, regulatory requirements and quality of deliverable. Scope can be obtained from the data generated during the active life cycle. Changing in scope when the project underway is a serious change that could damage the project's budget scale (need for larger facility, extra land areas, re-designs) and delay the schedule (make new plan, redesign, and longer construction). There are two types of scope: a) Scope Refinement, b) Scope Creep. Scope refinement mustn't confuse with scope creep.

2- Schedule: All projects have a start and end, usually the date of beginning and the date of end are not exact but the agency approximates the dates. The agency requires deciding the time needed to complete the project by developing the project schedule. Project scheduling is done by dividing the project into sub activities, then to estimate the time and effort of each activity and finally to install them in a logical order. The benefits of project scheduling is enabling the agency to predict time required to complete the project, relationships between activity and date.

3- Budget: each project is restricted to the limited monetary resources. Every project has budget requirement to initiate the project and must be proved by project manger based on the made cost predictions, cost estimates at the beginning of the project and re-structuring it once there is new data available. Refining the budget depends on the analysis made at the design stage, the variation when executing the design and market prices. The budget of any project should not be fixed, (Nejako and Shadan, 2006)

2.2.3 Project Life Cycle

Sequence of phases and activities to accomplish or achieve the project's goals or objectives, (Wideman, 2004)

There are many methods to delivery project life cycle:

Traditional one is called Design/Bid/Build (D/B/B) project: is a traditional method, life project cycle begins with designing and planning. The design process is repeated and modified frequently in this face in order to obtain an analysis and a validation, and then, define the new substitute to obtain the best project options and aspects. When construction is over, the contractor's work is tested and commissioned by various operations, furnished activities, technology, and equipment. The evaluation process is usually made during testing and commissioning stage in order to close the project successfully.

There are another types of project's life cycle method:

1- Design/Build (D/B)

2- Design/Build/Operate/Maintain(D/B/O/M)

2.3 Project Management Principles

· Objectives of Project Management:

1- Executing the project to meet the requirements on budget and schedule.

2- Acceptable risks.

3- Quality.

4- Safety.

5- Security levels.

· Process of Project Management

Project management process starts defining and recognizing user's needs and abilities, to set project constraints and obtaining relatively suitable objectives. When information becomes available there will be iterative process through experience of processionals on the projects constraints from the involved parties.

3. Quality Control and Safety during Construction

3.1 Quality Definition

Quality can be defined as aesthetic, legal and functional requirements of a project. These requirements could be simple or complex and quality is obtained if the stated requirements are adequate, and if the completed project conforms to the requirements.

Quality determined by law, a legal concept that requires all experiences to recognize their trade and practice it responsibly.

3.2 History of Quality

3.2.1 Quality Control and Statistical Theory

The main objective for quality control is to detect problem and fix it in production to prevent faulty products. Statistical theory is very important issue for quality control. In 1920s, the application of statistical methods developed by Dr W. Shewhart to manage the quality. Shewhart made the first chart for control and demonstration. This chart helped Shewhart to show how the variation in the process leads to variation in product quality, (D'Emma, 2009)

3.2.2 Quality in Japan

In 1940s, the products that Japan produces were cheap and Japanese recognized the problems in industry and needs to produce products with innovative high quality. Japanese focused and invited a few quality gurus, such as Deming, Juran and Feigenbaum. In 1950s, Japanese developed the quality control and management quickly. Quality wasn't only dependant on management level but, in the 1960s, quality circle is started as a group of volunteers who meet and discuss the improvement of workplace and present their ideas.

In 1980s and 1990s new stage of quality control and management began and was known as TQM (Total Quality Management).

3.2.3 Quality Awards and Excellence Model

In 1988, Malcolm Baldrige published Award in the United States. The award aimed to encourage the companies to adopt TQM and competitiveness in their products. Similar model was created in Europe. In 1992, the European Foundation of Quality Management developed a similar model to help organizations with creating a plan to minimize and reduce the gap. Nowadays there are hundreds of quality awards and many of models in the world, (D'Emma, 2009)

There are many approaches for quality such as Traditional Quality Control, Quality Assurance, Total Quality Control and Total Quality Management. Each approach is described below:

* Traditional Quality Control

This approach is concerned with inspection of goods and services. Inspection process takes place at the end of the operation and the problem of this approach that it doesn't work and will not ensure the quality.

* Quality Assurance

This method enables organizations to ensure that their product meets customer requirement and confirms the specification. This assurance can be done by using public or general rules or procedures for organization's activities. For example, in 1960's UK Armed forced recognized the need for quality systems standards. Applying quality system standard had become apparent, industries in general applied theses standards, these standards developed in 1979 by British Standard Institutes, formalized this standard as BS5750. ISO also known as the international organization for standards and quality systems, ISO instituted in Geneva and it is directly based on BS5750. In 1987 ISO was adopted in many countries.

* Total Quality Control

This approach focuses on testing the process in an operation. The objective of this method is to determine where mistakes happen, the reasons behind these mistakes and find method to prevent them from occurring. Total Quality Control known as TQC and inspection in this approach of quality is only for services; not for product. (D'Emma, 2009)

3.3 Quality Systems

Quality system can be measured with ISO 9000. It was first developed in 1987 by the U.K quality management systems standard BS5075 and aimed at providing quality for services. ISO 9000 is a series of standards for international quality management systems and it can be applied on different types of companies. Quality management systems consist of: quality assurance and quality control. Quality assurance concerned with product and services to meet and justify the customer requirements, Quality control is concerned with performing the characteristics and planning the quality assurance and its activities.

Quality System has many aims:

1- Minimizes the critical situation.

2- Provides company experiences structurally documentation.

3- Possibility to determine and fix the problem and prevent from new occurrences.

4- Makes the resources such as education, human, instruction, motivation and work environment available.

5- Makes the product and services stable among identifying and maintaining main operation ground.

3.3.1 Implementation of Quality Management Systems in Construction Industry

Implementing the quality management systems effectively and successfully in construction project is required to establish operation for teams that are working on quality tend. Following the steps for implementing QMS in construction industry:

* Provide the quality for client

* Generate educate, awareness and change the attitude of the staff

* Plans and prepares for project quality

* Involvement and participation of all staff by using quality control and motivation programs

* Measure performance and review plans quality

Companies and organizations may use these standards for specific purpose. These standards are used to promote operation quality to justify the customer's needs, decrease costs, provide flow for activities and applied in the organization, (Ahmadinejad et al, 2006)

3.4 QualityAuditing

Audit quality is defined as the process of administrating and identifying the activities required justifying and achieving the quality objectives. The systematic approach such as SAI (Supreme Audit Institutions) is the way to improving quality auditing.

3.4.1 Construction Quality Auditing

Quality auditing in construction serves many purposes such as:

1- Providing an assessment of quality: tracking and recording the level of confirming to various contract requirements. It is possible to recognize the systemic problem in easy way, providing differences between the areas which have the greatest opportunity for improvement and deficiencies will maintain as a record of outstanding.

2- Quality audit improves the level of quality. It plays an important role for reducing and avoiding quality related issue. It also rectifying deficiencies and taking the appropriate action to prevent form recurrences. This approach is very effective because it is able to identify a systemic problem and prevent them in the future.

3- It makes information retrieval and reporting easy by documentation of the program that is responsible for auditing and data management. Construction quality audit provides the history of conformance on the project or generate report to help in decision making in the future.

4- It gives more opportunity for the contract requirements to be misinterpreted or misquoted. Modifying and verification of requirement may be less rigorous and more subjective.

3.4.2 Requirements for effective auditing

1- Define audit procedure. The audit process, including the contractor's responsibilities, must be defined in the bidding documents so the contractors will know what is expected. It also necessary to define the roles and responsibilities of audit team and the procedure to be followed.

2- Trained and experienced auditors. In addition to the experience requirements that contract administrators must possess, auditors must be trained acknowledge in the audit technique of planning, organization, examining, evolution, communication and reporting.

3- Auditor/contractor co-operation. It is essential to meeting project requirements that the need for corporation between auditors and contractor staff empathized.

4- Efficient information retrieval. In order to be able to report on the level of compliance and to follow up on outstanding nonconformance,(Calder, 1997)

3.5 Quality Control Construction Items

* Quality of material that used.

* Correcting installing the materials.

* Justifying the client's requirements through installing the materials.

* Engineer's requirements are followed correctly.

* Architectural Plans.

* Performing correctly the variation on the project, (Arditi and Gunaydin, 1997)

3.6 Construction Safety

Construction work surrounded by dangers and it can happen in many fields of construction. There are many ways to protection such as: Personal protective equipment, electrical safety, fire safety, emergency preparations, chemical safety, vehicle safety and Biological safety. Agency that responsible for the construction should use barriers and guards to protect workers, engineers, contractors, employees and visitors from hazards.

3.6.1 Types of Barriers and guards

There are many types of barriers and guards such as:

1- Handholds and Guardrails

2- Saw horses

3- Tape

4- Cones

5- Toe boards


3.6.2 Where canBarriers and Guards uses?

1- Hatches

2- Open Manholes

3- Stairways

4- Chutes

5- Construction sites

6- Areas with moving machinery

7- Excavation sites

8- Temporary wall or floor openings

9- Elevated platforms

3.6.3 Heavy Equipment Safety

Using heavy equipment poses a hazard on employees, there are five rules should be followed by employees and workers to ensure safety:

1- Full knowledge about the equipment and how it operates.

2- Prevent using the equipment if the worker is sleepy, intoxicated or taking medication because it may affect the worker's Performance.

3- Appropriate equipment for appropriate work.

4- Inspecting the equipment before using to ensure it is working well before beginning of work.

5- Prevent stressing or overloading the equipment, (Goetsch, 2002)

The following table shows some kind of heavy equipment and how to deal with it to ensure workers and employee's safety:


* Don't raise worker on a forklift.

* Use safety belt

* Never leave keys in an unattended forklift

* Don't speed

* Don't stand, walk and work under the elevated portion of forklift


* Bucket of backhoes should be low to the ground while travelling.

* Use a rigid-type coupler when towing loads.

* Take care while working ear of banks and slopes

* Be careful when working in banks even cause cave-in


* Never walk, stand, or work beneath a hoist.

* When working with cables and hoists, wear gloves and personal protection equipment.

* Secure and rig the hoist after job is complete.

* Ensure that hoists are inspected regularly before each use.

3.7 Quality Control and Safety during Constriction

Project manager is responsible for quality control and safety. It's very important issue in construction because if any defect or failure in construction will pose hazard on human resources, it will increase costs and delays. Maintaining the defects and failure in construction can result in an impaired construction. In addition, defects and failures poses hazard on human resources whether on workers, engineers, contactors or visitors. Defects and failures may cause fatalities or injuries in worst case.

Project manager must ensure that the worker will do it right from the first time and doesn't need to reconstruct in future. Quality and cost can be controlled in preliminary stages (Planning and Design) rather than in construction stage because if there is any change, defect or failures it can be modified in easy way without posing any hazard or danger on human sources or large cost. In preliminary stages the material specification, component configuration and operations will be decide. Main purpose of quality control in construction is insuring performance of planning and design.

As quality control in construction is important, safety during construction is also of the same importance. Safety during construction decided in planning and design stage. Project manager faces challenge in some designs and construction plans because it's difficult and danger to implement, (Hendrickson, 2003)

3.8 Organizing for Quality and Safety

There are many models to organize quality and safety control. One common model is organization will group all responsibilities to insurance in group and another group to insurance the safety. Departments assign specific individual to be responsible of dedicating quality insurance and safety in large company. In small project, the responsibility of control quality and safety is on the project's manager or assistant. In different case, project manager is concerned and charged with insuring quality and safety control in overall project in many fields such as cost, human, time and other management issue. Project manager is connected with all organization party: owner, inspectors, engineer, architecture and various constructor firms. In addition, inspector has more option by contracting with specialized organization for insurance quality and to insure compliance involved in achieving quality and safety control by on-site inspection and testing sample of material.

3.9 Work and Material Specifications

Justifying the quality requires a special specifications and components of materials. Facility design is affects the quality control strongly. There are many numerous fields to determine general specification of work quality such as:

1- American Society for Testing and Materials(ASTM)

2- American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

3- Construction Specifications Institute (CSI)

4. ISO 9001

4.1 About ISO 9001

ISO stands for International Standardization Organization. ISO produced standard for Quality Management System Model, this standard is called: ISO 9001:2008. The ISO 9001:2008 standard produces a systematic method towards the management of product quality. First time published in 1987and later revised in 1994 and 2000. Final version was in 2008 to meet the current needs.

In the ISO 9001 is concerned with tangible and intangible products, all organizations can befit from this standard because it's generic and applicable whether private, public, governmental or commercial. Governments adopt this standard mostly. The standard consists of eight sections:

1- Scope

2- Normative reference

3- Terms and definitions

4- Quality management system

5- Management responsibility

6- Resource management

7- Product realization

8- Measurement, analysis and improvement

Number of countries that use the ISO 9001: 2008 standard is equal to 175 countries for their quality management system. Fig 4 shows the top 10 countries that use the ISO 9001:2008 standard.

4.2 Eight Quality Management Principles

These principles are the base of ISO9001:2008 standard, it's befits for tangible product to be derived. Any product justifying theses eight principles the product will be good without fail:

1- Customer needs: organization working on to meet their customer needs.

2- Managements and Leadership: leadership is responsible for direct the organization.

3- People Involvement: people at all levels in organization and involving their abilities to achieving organization objectives.

4- Process approach: all activities and all resources must be approached to achieve the desired result.

5- Systems approach to management: managing the process as integrated system to justify the efficiency and effectiveness organization.

6- Continual improvement: organization must always improve the overall performance.

7- Decision making: making decision must be based on knowledge and data analysis.

8- Mutually beneficial supplier relationships: suppliers and organization should co-operate to enhance the productivity, (West and Tsiakals, 2009)

4.3 Quality Management System (QMS) Requirements

Quality Management system provided by ISO 9001:2008 standards. This standard is used for determining, enhancing and meeting the customer specifications and requirement. All kinds of organization (small, medium or large) whether it's public or private, including governmental and non-governmental can benefit from these standards because it's generic and applicable. Implantation of ISO 9001 is very benefit because all activities of internal process focusing toward enhancement the satisfaction for the customer and achieving the project objectives.

QMS controls the quality by various strategies in the organization. These quality controls can be within resource management, areas of management responsibility, monitoring and measurement and product realization. Elements of control quality are described below:

1- Top Management: Concerned with achieving the objectives of QAM, meeting the customer's needs, creating policy quality for organization, internal communication, establishing responsibility and monitoring the performance of QAM.

2- Resource Management: ensuring the qualities for the customer requirement are met and providing the necessary resources such as human resource, infrastructure and suitable work environment.

3- Product realization: process of product realization based on planning, design and development, communications with the customer, purchasing services and material , activities for product creation and monitoring for equipments.

4- Analysis, Measurement and improvement: the organization should analysis, monitor and improve satisfaction for customer." Cianfrani, 2009 "

5. The Six Sigma Approach

Organizationsuse the six sigma methods to allow to support and improve the strategic direction, mentoring and training. In addition organization uses this method to improve their products, services and processes, by reducing faults and defects in the organization. The six sigma approach is considered as a business strategy that focuses on understanding the customer requirement, productivity, business system and financial performance. In 1980, organizations used the application of the six sigma approach to sustain their advantage by knowledge integration of the process by using statistics, project management and engineering, "Kwak and Anbari , 2004"

5.1 The Six sigma processesperspectives

There are two perspectives for six sigma process: Statistical viewpoint and Business viewpoint.

Statistical viewpoint

The origin of six sigma bases on statistics and statisticians and it defined as the success rate is 99.997 by having less than 3.4 million per opportunities. If the quality control operation of organization at three sigma level, the success rate of 93% or 66,800 defects per million opportunities.

Business viewpoint

Six sigma method is defined as a business strategy to improve the efficiency and effectiveness for operations in organization to meet the customer requirements in the business world. First applying for Six Sigma approach was in manufacturing operations after while many fields use this method such as engineering, marketing, servicing, purchasing and administrative support. The big benefit for applying six sigma approaches in organization is cost saving by linking process.

5.2 Understanding Six Sigma

5.2.1 Six sigma strategies, tools, techniques, and principles

Six Sigma approach is a systematic, data driven approach by using DMAIC

(Define, Measure, Analysis, Improve and control) process and utilizing by DFSS (Design for Six Sigma).

Table. 2. Shows Six Sigma business strategies, tools, techniques, and principles.

Six sigma business strategies and principles

Six sigma tools and techniques

Project management

Statistical process control

Data-based decision making

Process capability analysis

Knowledge discovery

Measurement system analysis

Process control planning

Design of experiments

Data collection tools and techniques

Robust design

Variability reduction

Quality function deployment

Belt system (Master, Black, Green,


Failure mode and effects analysis

DMAIC process

Regression analysis

Change management tools

Analysis of means and variances

Hypothesis testing

Root cause analysis

Process mapping

Table. 2. Six Sigma business strategies, tools, techniques, and principles," Kwak and Anbari , 2004"

5.2.2 Six Sigma approach VS Prior Quality Initiatives

Six Sigma approach is considered more effective than prior quality initiatives such as TQM (Total Quality Management) and CQI (Continuous Quality Improvement). The Six Sigma approach includes reported and measured functional result, data analysis with advanced tools, additional using, focuses on customer needs and use project mange tools and methodology.

Anbari (2002) formulized the Six Sigma management tools as follows:

Six Sigma=TQM or (CQI) + Stronger Customer Focus + Additional Data Analysis Tools + Financial Results + Project Management

5.3 DMAIC Process

DMAIC is process with a closed loop systems that aims toeliminateany unproductive steps. This elimination can be done by a new measurements and using new technology for continuous improvement. The key steps of DMAIC process in six sigma approach shown in Table. 3

Six sigma Steps

Key processes


* Define the requirements and expectations of the customer

* Define the project boundaries

* Define the process by mapping the business flow


* Measure the process to satisfy customer's needs

* Collect and compare data to determine issues and shortfalls


* Analyze the causes of defects and sources of variation

* Determine the variations in the process

* Prioritize opportunities for future improvement


* Improve the process to eliminate variations

* Develop creative alternatives and implement enhanced plan


* Control process variations to meet customer requirements

* Implement the improvements of systems and structures

Table3. Key steps of six sigma using DMAIC process "Kwak and Anbari , 2004"

5.4 DFSSMethodology

DFSS is a systematic tool for utilizing, measurement and training. Organization befits from this toll to design their products and processes depend on customer needs and produce theses products and services at six sigma quality level. The objectives of DFSS process are minimizing the defect rate, maximizing positive impact and applying six sigma levels during product development stage.

DFSS consist of five steps:

1- Initiate and plan the project.

2- Capture customer needs.

3- Develop the design of concepts.

4- Develop the details of design.

5- Implement full scale processes.

DFSS process utilizes several of quality tools and techniques to meet the customer requirement and life cycle for the product. It focuses on a new innovative design that can give a higher level of performance.

5.5 Reported Befits of implementation Six Sigma in Engineering and construction sector

In 2002, Bechtel Corporation, one of the largest engineering and construction companies in the world, reported savings of $200 million with an investment of

$30 million in its six sigma program to identify and prevent rework and defects in everything from design to construction to on-time delivery of employee payroll," Kwak and Anbari, 2004"


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